SafeNet ProtectDrive – using the 16-bit boot loader

We’ve started using SafeNet ProtectDrive for encrypting all our XP laptops (and Bitlocker for all the rest that are using Windows 7), and occasionally we’ve found that one or two laptops refuse to get past the 32-bit vxBios boot loader screen. For whatever reason that it happens the temporary way around this is to press the shift key whilst the system powers-on and the 16-bit boot loader will kick in and let you in.

Unfortunately the administration guide for ProtectDrive does not explain how to make the 16-bit boot loader a permanent choice for the few machines that just can’t handle the 32-bit loader. So after contacting support and getting the answer I thought I’d post here how to do it to save someone else waiting the usual 6 hours or so before America wakes up and responds to the support query.

To make the 16-bit boot loader the default option when using ProtectDrive all you have to do is boot the machine up using the temporary method (pressing shift whilst it boots) then after logging in drop to the command line and run setpb /16 from the Tools folder on the original installation media. That changes the mbr to the 16-bit version.
You can also run setpb /32 to switch back to the 32-bit loader too.

Hope that helps someone!

  • Anonymous


    You just saved me a days work!

  • Eric Long

    This may be late, but thanks.

  • Eric Long